A 2paragraphs Interview with literary publicist Lauren Cerand
Q: Because of your success, you have your pick of clients. Would you ever choose to represent a writer who was practically allergic to publicity, simply because you thought she was great? Or is having an active partner essential in the crowded media environment of 2013?
A: Certainly, whether or not a client of mine is engaged in social media as a daily habit is going to be a factor in the ultimate success of the project, but it wouldn’t affect whether or not I took them on, as talent is my primary criterion. I am a very direct person, though, when it comes to what I think it will take to produce a desired outcome, and I encourage my clients to experiment with technology in all of the ways that it makes life engaging and more pleasurable. When it feels like a chore, forget it; it’s not for you. It’s the reality of my work, though. The other day a publisher asked which parties I thought he should attend. “Do you like going to parties?” I asked. “Not really,” he said. “Then don’t worry about it,” I said. “That’s why you have a publicist.” The relief on his face was palpable. That being said, it’s a digital enterprise, and our core strategy is building an audience through social media, subscriptions and the world beyond reviews.
One of the biggest things that I think we’re seeing right now as an emerging trend is the constant feeling that the 24/7 new cycle, the great hungry maw of the Internet, must be fed. But it’s a portal for ideas, and at best, a force for good. It’s not a real baby, so put down your phone and feed yourself. I love the occasional essay, the thoughtful, long-form take, and of course, the big book. Whatever will outlive us. Why settle for a tweet when your muse demands a song? Some of my happiest times have been spent in silent meditation in the moonlight, deep in the woods. I respect the need of artists for this same solitude, and I am willing to help them find a balance.
– Lauren Cerand is one of the “cultural gatekeepers in the literary world” (Time Out New York), and one of “50 Up-and-Coming New York Culture Makers to Watch in 2013” (Flavorwire).